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O'Reilly targets Michael Moore and Sicko and "socialized government-run medicine"

Reported by Chrish - July 11, 2007 -

The target(s) of Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo tonight 7/10/07 were Michael Moore, "Sicko," and the concepts of not-profit-driven healthcare systems endorsed in the film and by Moore. O'Reilly's against them all.

O'Reilly ripped Sicko's box office success ("flat", as if movies normally peak sometime after the opening. You could say "steady" or "consistent") and claimed Moore endorses "socialized medicine," with the government running the healthcare system. He asserted Moore was acting "erratically" lately, cancelling some appearances (Larry King bumped him for Paris Hilton, Weinsteins cancelled a press conference in favor of a healthcare rally), showing up 90 minutes late for The Daily Show (his flight was diverted and delayed), and "going off" on Wolf Blitzer last night on CNN after his film was criticized. (Moore claimed CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta was not telling the truth about the content.)

O'Reilly wished that Moore would come on his show and try that, but as he characterized it, Moore keeps "dodging" him because O'Reilly's got his number. O'Reilly showed a clip of an interview from 5 years ago, where he asked Moore just how liberal he is, is he a socialist or a communist? Gee, I wonder why Moore is "dodging" him.

O'Reilly stated that Moore is a Socialist, which means he wants the government to provide cradle to grave entitlements and the right to "seize personal assets through draconian taxation."

O'Reilly misrepresented the healthcare debate (of course) and says that on one side we have those who say it is a Constitutional right to have free health care, and those who disagree are labelled "insensitive." But, O'Reilly fears the domino effect and guarantees that if national healthcare ever passes "Michael Moore and his acolytes will say decent food, housing, and child care are all human rights. The nanny state is the ultimate goal."

Talking Points (shortened onscreen to just "Points," lol) thinks government-run healthcare would be disastrous and raise taxes enormously. BUT, there SHOULD be government oversight on insurance abuse. But if Michael Moore's plan ever gets traction, pray hard you never get sick.

Comment: Many of us are already praying hard we never get sick, especially the middle class who are one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy or homelessness. O'Reilly is basically instructing his followers to further marginalize themselves by staying out of any meaningful debate. Tossing out those fear-laden talking points in a serious discussion will quickly identify them as stay-the-course and not willing to look at solutions for the future. For many it's a moral issue; profiting from cancer patients is just wrong.

And by the way, Sicko is the second-highest grossing documentary ever, after Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. As noted by blogger STOP George, the box office is no longer the sole arbiter of a film's success, especially documentaries. Sicko is smashing records on the Internet and untold thousands have seen it at home (and probably some at work!) It eats into the profits but the film will still make enough* money. Moore is already a wealthy man and wants to start a discussion, not get wealthier.

* Enough (for our right-wing readers) : occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations; in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction; a sufficient number, quantity, or amount.

Also, for the record, advertisers on tonight's show included Advair (GlaxoSmithKline), Lunesta (Sepracor), Plavix (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi), Sudafed (McNeil PPC, a division of Johnson and Johnson), and Aflac (insurance). FOX and O'Reilly need to keep those advertisers happy.